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Published 1955
Topics Drama

Napoléon is a 1955 French historical epic film directed by Sacha Guitry that depicts major events in the life of Napoleon I of France.

Yves Montand appears as Marshal Lefebvre and Maria Schell as Marie-Louise of Austria.
The film also has cameo appearances by a number of notable actors, particularly Erich von Stroheim as Ludwig van Beethoven, and Orson Welles as Napoleon's British jailor, Sir Hudson Lowe.

The English version is a contemporary dub made as part of the original production, but does not run as long as the French version.

Run time 119 min
Producer Clément Duhour
Production Company Filmsonor
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information


Reviewer: Loïc - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 12, 2015
Subject: Irakaslea
@ Irakaslea

While I agree with your review, there is something you're not getting here (no offense, just saying - hope it helps):

What is in the public domain in the USA may often not be in the pd in France, that's why the only version available on - a LEGAL site - is in English.

Anyway, the original movie (in French) is available on YT. For legal reasons, I won't post the link, though, but just search for yourself and you'll find it there.

Third point: you made me search for your ref. The link is dead. The good one is:
Reviewer: Irakaslea - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2015
Subject: By so far the best Napoleon movie EVER
A typical Guitry-Duhour production.

It's unfortunate that it can only be found in English on the Internet.

Anyway, half a loaf is still better than no bread, so many thanks to the poster.

For the cinephiles/film historians with a passionate interest in facts and trivia around Guitry, Duhour and their Napoleon, there's some intriguing bit of info here (btw, it's not my blog, so I can't answer any question pertaining to it):
Reviewer: I_loved_this movie! - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 18, 2011
This appears to be a very accurate presentation of the life of Napoleon, but told from a slightly bemused perspective, recognizing that like him or not, Napoleon and the events of his life are an historic fact. This film is worth watching, at least for entertainment if not for a lesson in history, even if you agree with the woman in the beginning who states "At no time did I ever like Napoleon". The inclusion of this woman indicates that the film presents a fairly balanced view of Napoleon.

This is in ENGLISH, although it says it is a French film, because it was dubbed in 1955. I wouldn't even have noticed that it was dubbed if I hadn't read that, because most of the film is merely a narrated description of events shown, the narrator is quite convincing, and the dubbing of other actors is done very well.
The significance of the Eroica Symphony is that Beethoven had at first dedicated it out of admiration to General Napoleon, and then changed the name to Eroica when he became disgusted by Napoleon for proclaiming himself emperor.
Reviewer: GMahler - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2011
Subject: Maybe...
...the best of all "Napoleon" historic movies I have seen. Actually, my favorite. The sequence, chain of events and general cinema technique followed by Sacha Guitry is excellent. A classic.
Reviewer: Petreterror - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 25, 2011
Subject: Napoleon
Documentary about the rise and fall of one of the greatest military geniuses of modern times from his Corsican childhood to final exile in St. Helena.
Jocuri Full
Reviewer: flickfdude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 1, 2008
Subject: A History Lesson
I don’t really recall if the history is accurate from my own schooling but it is an interesting movie. I found myself trying to fit Thakary’s Vanity Fair or The Count of Monte Christo by Dumas into the picture as historically they coincided with Napoleon’s epoch. The copy is relatively good and it is in color.
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